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George Clooney links Harvey Weinstein scandal to Donald Trump, Fox News personalities

George Clooney is set to make his Broadway debut in role he brought to the silver screen.

George Clooney is set to make his Broadway debut in role he brought to the silver screen. Photo: Getty

George Clooney says the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal goes beyond Hollywood, with the director linking the behaviour to US President Donald Trump and Fox News personalities.

Weinstein is facing a series of sexual assault and harassment allegations spanning his decades as a Hollywood producer, but Clooney said it goes beyond the film industry.

“What people love to do is the culture of Hollywood … but it’s all over, because it’s pervasive,” he told ABC News Breakfast.

harvey weinstein

Big shot turned pariah Harvey Weinstein.

“We have a President who talks about grabbing women by their crotch and … Fox News had tonnes of this – Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly.”

A 2005 recording of Mr Trump saying that “when you’re a star” you can “grab [women] by the p–ssy” surfaced during the presidential election campaign.

At Fox News, founder Roger Ailes was ousted from the network in 2016 with a $US40 million ($54 million) severance package following accusations of sexual harassment.

And Fox News host Bill O’Reilly was also accused of sexual harassment, reportedly paying five women a total of $US13 million ($16.85 million) to settle claims.

Is Hollywood draining the swamp?

There’s a generation of Hollywood powerbrokers who’ve acted like it’s still the Stone Age, and as Cameron William writes, it looks like they’re no longer going to get away with it.

“Something good has to come out of this [Weinstein revelations] and what that has to be is that women have to feel safe to come forward,” Clooney said.

“This can’t be three months and then it becomes the Harvey Weinstein joke and then it’s over. That’s not OK.”

Clooney said Weinstein had told him he had affairs with actresses, but he said he “took a lot of that with a grain of salt” because he did not believe the actresses would have done it.

He also suggested news organisations may have known of the serious accusations, but chose not to publish them.

“Who got book deals from the Weinstein company? Who got advertising dollars and how much from the Weinstein company when they had that story?” Clooney said.

Hollywood has spoken says Matt Damon

Actor Matt Damon told ABC News Breakfast Weinstein had to be held accountable for his actions, but added the industry had sent a strong message.

“Hollywood has kind of spoken, I mean he’s been excommunicated. He is persona non-grata in a way I’ve never seen in my life,” he said.

“I have never seen this happen to anyone, let alone somebody that powerful.”

Damon has denied reports he tried to stop a news story about Weinstein in 2004, telling Deadline: “I would never, ever, ever try to kill a story like that.”

The Weinstein allegations have sparked a global response, with the #MeToo campaign prompting women to share their own experiences of sexual harassment.

And this week Hollywood writer and director James Toback has denied he sexually harassed 38 women spanning his years in the industry.

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